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Category Archives: Book Reviews

Reviews of baseball books and sometimes other baseball-themed gifts and publications.

April 27 2000: Book Review – Slouching Towards Fargo

So, the other night, while sitting in the stands in the freezing cold wind of Yankee Stadium’s upper deck, my brother gave me my birthday present, lovingly wrapped in a page of the sports section of the local paper with Ken Griffey, Jr. photo large on it. (I couldn’t help but say, as I ripped […]

Baseball Prospectus 2013: Like the phone book in more ways than one

So now you guys know what I was doing all winter. I was co-editing the new, more massive-than-ever Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The tome this year is 592 pages and contains capsule descriptions and stat projections for over 2,200 players, more than ever before. Two thousand names is a lot to work with as an […]

Would you give digital books this holiday? Why not?

So, my mom and I got my Dad an iPad for Father’s Day. I know a lot more of those, as well as Amazon Kindles, will be given out this holiday season. Chances are your mom, dad, or other family member who is just getting their hands on one of these nifty devices has never […]

June 5, 2009: A little bit about books…

The queue of books awaiting my attention just got a little longer, so I thought before they get too old, I would at least run down the list of books on my desk I am really looking forward to reading. I picked up several Red Sox related titles at the BookExpoAmerica convention, which was held in New York City last weekend. And yet no book on the Yankees! It felt like there was very little in the way of baseball books, in fact, but maybe that’s just because the GLUT of Yankees and Red Sox books is easing? Or Yankees books anyway, now that all the stadium books are out? (I suppose you could count the Selena Roberts tell-all about A-Rod to be a Yankee book… or would that be an anti-Yankee book? It is NOT on my to-read list.)

(Click title above to read entire post…)

April 13, 2009: Bash Brother, Interview with Dale Tafoya

Dale Tafoya is the author of “Bash Brothers: A Legacy Subpoenaed” — which I reviewed here on “Why I Like Baseball” back on December 14th, 2008. The book reminds readers of a lot of very significant facts about the early days of the Steroid Era which are being quickly forgotten in the onrush of debate as the controversy rages on. I interviewed Dale in the wake of this spring’s revelations about A-Rod in the belief that the Performance Enhancing Drug news is far from finished and that we will still be figuring out the full impact of this chapter of baseball history for decades to come.

Cecilia Tan, WILBB: I think a lot of fans, and certainly the owners, are still in denial about the whole steroids issue. They just want it to go away and pretend it either never happened or that at least it’s “over” now. Do you see it going away any time soon?

Dale Tafoya: Well, I think steroid use in baseball has been significantly curbed, especially since MLB began dishing out these 50-game suspensions to busted players. But it would be naive for us to think that the game is completely clean…

(Click title above to read complete interview)

Breaking news… sort of…

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast of Welcome Back Baseball with this announcement. My fiction writing and my baseball writing don’t often coincide, but they did recently when I wrote an erotic baseball novel for a company called Ravenous Romance. They are an ebook publisher, and … voila!

It’s not yet live on Fictionwise or the Kindle Store, but right now it can be bought directly from Ravenous as PDF, .prc (Kindle compatible), and Epub formats (compatible with lots of devices and software readers).

As the marketing pitch goes: “When Casey Branigan meets major league baseball player Tyler Hammond at a photo shoot, she finds the fun and excitement her life needs. As a manager in a big Boston design firm, Casey’s life has become lackluster – but her affair with Tyler promises to change that. Quickly caught up in the whirlwind that surrounds celebrity athletes, Casey travels all over the country to watch Tyler pitch. The sex is breathtaking and Casey loves the lifestyle fame and fortune affords. Tyler is on a winning streak, and he thinks Casey is the reason why. But Casey must decide for herself whether this is just a summer fling. Or is Casey starting a hot streak of her own?”

Buy it at Ravenous: here!

Meanwhile, I noticed my baseball-themed erotic short story, Baseball Blues, is also up for free download. So if you want a taste of things, check it out here. Yankees fans will easily be able to tell what real life player the male character is based on (and no, it is NOT Derek Jeter).

Baseball Book Recommendations

Today I’ll be reviewing four books out of the many I’ve received this year. Three I’d say would make good holiday gifts, while the last one is more of a book one should read for yourself.

  • The Greatest Game, by Richard Bradley
  • It Takes More Than Balls, by Deidre Silva and Jackie Koney
  • The Spitball Knuckleball Book, by Tom Mahl
  • Bash Brothers, by Dale Tafoya

The Greatest Game: The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78
by Richard Bradley

There are some classic legends and tales that can be told over and over again in many different ways, and even though we know how they end, each telling is just as captivating. The Christmas story, the sinking of the Titanic, the Odyssey… and the story of how the Yankees and Red Sox did battle on that fateful October day in 1978.

Bradley is a fluid and captivating writer who has researched all the interesting backstories and the intriguing characters (like managers Don Zimmer and Billy Martin), and retells not only the events of the game, but also how the significance of the game fit in a highly turbulent era for baseball and the country… (click title above to read all reviews)

Books & More Books

So, I was floating through the blogosphere and came across this list of “Top Ten Greatest Yankee Fan Books” on the Yankzology blog. And my book is, amazingly, at number one. Of course, the book is called “The 50 Greatest Yankee Games,” so maybe having “greatest” in the title skewed the results? I’m still amazed. The other 9 books on the list are pretty much ALL in the bibliography of my book, and on my shelf. (Well, OK, 7 out of the 9.)

I’ve got a stack of books I’ve been working my way through which I’ll be reviewing here ASAP, partly in case anyone wants gift-giving advice for Yankee-loving family members this Xmas.

THE GREATEST GAME: The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Playoff of ’78, by Richard Bradley
BASH BROTHERS by Dale Tafoya
a retrospective on Yankee Stadium
and a few others will all be reviewed soon!

June 28, 2008: SABR Day Three

Here, we are, day three, the final full day of the SABR convention for the year. Tomorrow has an awards breakfast I won’t be attending (I was trying to do this convention on the cheap), and that is about it. So this will be my final report from the lovely, baseball-crazy city of Cleveland. I […]

June 27, 2008: SABR Day Two, Part 2

Back from the ballpark where the Indians pulled off a nice 6-0 shutout of their in-state rival Reds, C.C. Sabathia pitched 8 innings, 4 hits, 11 strikeouts, 2 walks. His only rough inning was the first when with 2 men on Grady Sizemore saved Sabathia’s sizable bacon by making a sickl leaping over-the-shoulder catch that […]

April 26 2000: Book Review – Ball Four

What do you mean you haven’t read Ball Four, the original baseball “tell-all” book by Jim Bouton? Okay, okay, I hadn’t read it either, until recently. I was a kid when it came out, young enough that I still had to be held by the hand by my Dad as we walked through Yankee Stadium. […]

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